2 Cockerels, 1 coop? Can I make this work for the winter?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Noymira, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2011
    Chittenden County, VT
    I currently have 16 birds; 7 pullets, 7 hens and 2 cockerels. I'm hopefully picking of 4 more pullets this weekend.

    Right now I have 3 separate pens. The youngest cockerel (14 weeks) is in with my 16 week old pullets and 2 older hens in the large coop. I'm also keeping 5 hens and an 18 week old cockerel in a separate pen (all Black Copper Marans). The new pullets will go into quarantine in the tractor, then will move into the large coop with the rest of the of the pullets.

    I'm going to need to integrate everyone for winter in the large coop, it's the only structure set up to handle our fairly long, snowy winters. We are going to be working on breeding some dual purpose birds next year (the cockerels are Barred Rock and Black Copper Marans).

    The coop is 10'X10' and the run is 318 sqr/ft. How can I help keep the peace with 2 young cockerels? There will be 20 birds total; 18 ladies and the 2 gents, am I likely to run into problems? I know a lot will depend on their personalities, but should I merge the flock sooner rather than later, or leave them separate until fall? They both seem fairly mild mannered now, and I do not handle them for the most part, but I know they are still young. What can I offer them in the coop and run for distractions that will help keep conflict to a minimum?

    This is my first year keeping chickens and I've decided to dive in head first it seems! Any other advice for me?
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Can you free range them at all? That might help them get aquainted and make the merge a bit easier.....

    It will likely be a bit rough at first. Hens and roos alike will need to establish a new pecking order.......
  3. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2011
    Chittenden County, VT
    Quote:They won't be free ranging (we are gone for 8+ hours most days), but I'm working on a large fenced area for them (about 1/2 acre) and hope to have that done by fall. Maybe I'll speed up those plans and let everyone meet and mingle that way.
  4. kelidei

    kelidei ~*Dances with chickens*~

    Mar 18, 2009
    Northern Illinois
    I have two roos in 2 coops. And in my bantie coop I have 4... 1 silkie and 3 Porcelain d'Uccles. Personally I would put them together ASAP the younger the better in my opinion... and also before they will spend more time cooped up inside when winter comes... [​IMG]

    PS... if you can pen the newcomer in a dog crate for a couple of days first that may help.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  5. turbodog

    turbodog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2010
    Independence, La.
    Quote:I agree, put em together now while they are younger and before they are forced to it by the weather.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by